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JUNE 21, 2019 (BRIDGEPORT, NEB.)  — The Morrill County Sheriff’s is able to release additional details regarding the crash that claimed the life of Nebraska State Trooper Jerry L. Smith, #373, on Thursday, June 20, 2019.

At approximately, 7:36 a.m., the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office received several 911 calls in reference to a three-vehicle crash west of Bridgeport on Highway 26, near mile marker 59. The 911 calls indicated that one of the vehicles involved was that of a Nebraska State Trooper. Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene at 7:39 a.m. MDT.

The crash occurred when a 2002 Dodge Ram, driven by MaryJo Decora, 60, of Bridgeport, was stopped on the highway waiting to make a left turn into the Oregon Trail Memorial Cemetery. Decora’s vehicle was struck from behind by a 2005 Mazda Tribute, driven by Derek Lacrete, 28, of Lewellen. Lacrete’s vehicle hit the back, driver’s side of Decora’s vehicle, causing Lacrete’s vehicle to veer into the oncoming lane, colliding head-on with a Nebraska State Patrol 2016 Dodge Charger, driven by Trooper Jerry Smith, 51, of Scottsbluff.

Trooper Smith was pronounced deceased on the scene. Lacrete was ejected from his vehicle during the crash and was also pronounced deceased on the scene.

The Morrill County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, Morrill County ALS, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming State Patrol, and fire departments from Bridgeport, Bayard, and Broadwater all responded to the scene.

The crash is still under investigation by the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office with reconstruction assistance from the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office.

Funeral services for Trooper Smith are pending. Details will be released when appropriate.

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JUNE 20, 2019 (SCOTTSBLUFF, NEB.) — The Nebraska State Patrol is heartbroken to announce the death of Trooper Jerry L. Smith, badge #373. “This is a tragic day for the Nebraska State Patrol”, said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “A family has lost a husband and a father. Our troopers have lost a colleague and a friend. Our state has lost a true public servant.” At approximately 7:45 a.m. MDT on Thursday, June 20, Trooper Smith was on duty and traveling on Highway 26, in Morrill County, when another vehicle crossed the center line and struck his patrol unit head-on. Trooper Smith was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle was ejected and was also pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of a third vehicle that was involved in the crash was not seriously injured. The crash remains under investigation by the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office. Trooper Smith, 51, of Scottsbluff, joined the Nebraska State Patrol in 2014, graduating with the 56th Basic Recruit Class on May 1, 2015. Graduating at the age of 47, he is believed to be the oldest recruit to ever complete NSP’s Basic Recruit Camp. He was stationed in Scottsbluff as part of Troop E for his entire NSP career. Prior to joining NSP, Trooper Smith led a decorated career in the United States Army, serving our country from 1986 to 2011. Trooper Smith earned numerous honors during his military career, including a bronze star for his service in two tours of combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom. “Trooper Smith was doing what he did every day, diligently patrolling Nebraska’s roadways,” said Colonel Bolduc. “This is a sad reminder of the dangers our law enforcement professionals face daily. Our prayers are with Trooper Smith’s family.” Trooper Smith is survived by his wife and two adult children. All of NSP mourns the loss of Trooper Smith and asks that the public respect the privacy of his family during this difficult time.

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North Platte, Ne - Joeli Walrath of Ashton, Nebraska is your new Miss Rodeo Nebraska. She was crowned last night at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte. Joeli is 21 and studying equine science at UNL. She'll officially take over the rein of Miss Rodeo Nebraska in January from Eva Oliver is the current Miss Rodeo Nebraska and will represent the state at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant this November in Las Vegas.

 Brylee Thompson, of Hershey, was named Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska 2019 yesterday.

Thompson was crowned Wednesday afternoon at the North Platte Community Playhouse inNorth Platte. Thompson, 15, won the horsemanship, appearance, personality, congeniality and photogenic categories of the pageant.

 

Sierra Cain, 14, of North Platte, was named first-runner up


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JUNE 5, 2019 (GRAND ISLAND, NEB.) — At approximately 12:10 a.m. Wednesday, June 5,
troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) observed a southbound, orange Kawasaki
motorcycle traveling at 80 miles per hour on South Locust Street in Grand Island. That area is a
50 miles per hour zone. Troopers attempted a traffic stop, but the motorcycle fled.
A pursuit was initiated as the motorcycle fled at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, making
multiple turns and eventually traveling northbound on Highway 281. Moments later, the
motorcycle was involved in a crash with another vehicle at the intersection of Highway 281 and
West Old Potash Highway. The entire pursuit lasted approximately five minutes.
The motorcycle rider, a 27 year-old male, was transported to St. Francis Hospital in Grand Island
where he was pronounced deceased. The driver of the other vehicle, a Volkswagen Passat, was
not injured.
NSP has requested that the Grand Island Police Department conduct an investigation.

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On May 22 2019, the FBI along with the Hall County Sheriff's Office, Grand Island Police Department, Hastings Police Department, and Nebraska State Patrol, responded to a rural area near Interstate 80 and Nebraska Highway 281 regarding the sighting of two wanted fugitives from the state of Kansas.

Dustin Eugene Bilbrey, age 36, and Rebecca Sue Humphrey, age 33, are wanted on state arrest warrants for aggravated robbery, vehicle burglary, arson, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, criminal damage to property, and theft charges out of Saline County, Kansas. They were last seen during the early morning hours of May 23, 2019 travelling in a silver Ford explorer.

Bilbrey is described as a white male, approximately 6'3" tall, and 199 pounds. Humphrey is described as a white female, approximately 5'5" tall, and 150 pounds.  

These individuals are considered armed and dangerous. If you have information on the whereabouts of these individuals or see these individuals, do not approach and call 911, local law enforcement, or your local FBI office immediately.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A last-minute push to pass a property tax package has stalled in the Nebraska Legislature, dimming the prospects of any major changes this year.

Supporters fell 10 votes short Wednesday of the support necessary to overcome a filibuster. The vote was 23-7 to force an end to legislative debate. Sixteen senators abstained from voting.

The vote could threaten the prospects of another measure to create new tax incentives for businesses, a major priority for Nebraska business leaders. Several rural lawmakers reluctantly supported that bill on a first-round vote, with the understanding that senators would pass a property tax package.

The new package would have eliminated sales tax exemptions for haircuts, pop, candy, car repairs and other goods and services and used the revenue to reduce property taxes.

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HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — A former Hastings teacher accused of having sex with a teenage student and providing her alcohol has pleaded not guilty.

Adams County Court records say 23-year-old Tyler Hedlund filed the plea Wednesday to a charge of intentional child abuse. A trial date has not been set.

The records say Hedlund had sex with the 16-year-old girl several times at his Hastings home and that he gave her alcohol there and bought alcoholic beverages for her and three of her friends.

Hedlund had been teaching and coaching football at Hastings St. Cecilia.

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This conference recognizes financial advisors who are among the leaders in the financial services firm. The conference also will provide additional training to help them serve more individual investors in their communities.

Sharleen Riemenschneiderwas among the 800 financial advisors who qualified out of the firm's more than 17,000 financial advisors in the U.S. and Canada.

The 2019 conference was held May 14 - 17 in St. Louis.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices, caters to individual investors. The firm's 17,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management. Visit our website at edwardjones.com and recruiting website at careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.


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McCook, Nebraska—Community Hospital is pleased to announce a new visiting cardiologist specializing in invasive cardiology and device implantations will see patients at the Medical Specialists Center in McCook starting in April.

 

Georgy Kaspar, M.D., is associated with Great Plains Health Heart & Vascular Center in North Platte. He is board certified in internal medicine, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, cardiovascular computed tomography and registered physician vascular interpretation. He will see patients at Community Hospital on the second Wednesday of each month.

 

Dr. Kaspar graduated from medical school at the University of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine, West Palm Beach, Floridaand completed a cardiovascular fellowship at Providence-Providence Park Hospital/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Southfield, Michigan.

For an appointment, call Community Hospital’s Central Scheduling department at 308-344-8285. Referrals are not required.

 

Community Hospital offers more than thirty visiting medical specialists for advanced care, close to home. For more information, go to chmccook.org.

 


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(NORTH PLATTE, NEB.) — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have arrested an Iowa man and seized nearly 950 THC vape cartridges during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near North Platte.

The traffic stop occurred at approximately 10:50 a.m. Monday, April 8, when a trooper observed an eastbound Ford Escape speeding at mile marker 179. During the traffic stop, the trooper became aware of drug activity and conducted a search of the vehicle.

The search revealed 947 THC vape cartridges in vacuum sealed bags hidden inside a box in the cargo area. The driver, John Norris, 22, of Johnston, Iowa, was arrested for possession of THC/Hash Oil with intent to deliver and no drug tax stamp. A female passenger was cited and released for possession of marijuana – less than one ounce.

Norris was lodged in Lincoln County Jail.


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